Tom Wilson, creator of the iconic Ziggy comic-strip character, died in his sleep Friday at age 80. Wilson’s death was confirmed by his son, Tom Wilson, Jr., who took over his father’s comic strip in 1987. A survivor of lung cancer, the late Wilson debuted Ziggy in a 1969 collection of greeting cards, When You’re Not Around. It was published by American Greetings, where the artist worked for 35 years, becoming Creative Director in 1957 and vice-president of creative development in 1978. Beginning in 1971, Ziggy was launched in over a dozen periodicals, and is currently published in more than 500 newspapers. The worldwide franchise also appears in calendars and books, on top of greeting cards and comic-strips. In a phone interview with Associated Press, Tom Wilson, Jr., said of his father’s creation: “Ziggy is a last-in-line character. The last picked for everything, and kind of a lovable kind of loser character.” Rest in peace, Tom Wilson, and thank you for giving us Ziggy.